Responsibility for the community in which we exist
We appreciate the fact that we enjoy a unique privilege: we have the honour of hosting one of the few lodges to be permitted within the Mount Kenya national park, an area that is otherwise exclusively dedicated to the preservation of its wilderness and wildlife. We also appreciate the support of the human community that surrounds this wilderness area, on whom we rely for the provision of staff members, guides, dancers and entertainers. Consequently we host a number of eco-programmes, all of which are designed to support and sustain the natural and human community of which we are a part. Such programmes vary according to need, but presently they are as follows:
- Mount Kenya plays a crucial role in the life of the country being Kenya's single most important permanent watershed and her largest forest reserve. The fertile soils of its lower slopes also sustain the growth of the nation's richest farmlands whilst much of its vegetation is globally unique. In recent years, however, the Mountain has suffered greatly from the adverse effects of deforestation. As a result, the lodge runs an ambitious re-afforestation programme. To-date some 2.5 million seedlings have been planted while seedlings are also offered free of charge to local communities, schools and individuals. The lodge runs its own tree nursery and encourages guests to ‘Plant a Tree for Africa'.
- The lodge works closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service in terms of animal rescue and support.
- We offer subsidized medical care to the local community - particularly in relation to maternal care and child-immunization; also in relation to HIV/AIDS sensitization. We also provide clean water for the local community.
- We create both temporary and permanent jobs for the local community. Training and work-exposure programmes are also offered to school leavers.
- We encourage interface between our guests and the local villages - hosting tours and promoting the sale of handicraft items.
- We showcase Kikuyu dance, costume, singing and cultural craft as part of our corporate undertaking to support and sustain the cultural heritage of our nation.
- We support the local schools in terms of supply of educational materials and school buildings.
- Our staff make voluntary visits to local orphanages, schools and hospitals.
In terms of its own ecological ‘foot' print, the lodge abides by a code of responsible practice in relation to: energy conservation (inverter systems have recently been installed so as to reduce the lodge's use of diesel-fuelled generators), waste recycling (glass, plastics, ‘wet waste' and the distribution of food-waste to local pig-farmers), sewage disposal, air emissions, non-CFC use, pesticide-use, noise reduction and visual pollution. Wherever possible, local produce is featured on the menus.
In order to promote the overall health of their workforce, Serena has also established the Employee Wellness Programme, which aims to address the holistic health needs of not only Serena's staff, but also of the communities that surround their lodges. In essence, the programme is devoted to reducing the incidence of accident and illness in the workplace, promoting healthy lifestyles, maximizing potential and promoting optimum quality of life.